No sync tab in Kies 3 following Firmware update

5 December 2013: The new version of Kies (3.2.13114_22 http://www.samsung.com/us/kies/) has Sync once again.

If you have Kies3 but cannot connect to Microsoft Outlook, this issue has also been fixed by Samsung.  This page is here: Samsung Kies3 will not recognise/sync with Outlook x64

Today, at the request of Samsung Kies 2.6, I updated my phone's firmware.  During this update, I was informed that Kies 3 was also a required upgrade.  No problems there, so I chose to upgrade both my device and accompanying software.

After upgrading completed, I plugged my device into the USB socket, and launched Kies 3.  To my amazement, the option to Sync email/calendars has gone.

In fairness Kies 3 probably never had Sync support, but the decision to remove it is rediculous.

After negotiating Samsung's web site for long enough to submit a support email, here is the response...

Official response from Samsung

I am sorry to hear this information was not available to you as it should be. I can understand your concern about this as you would like to use this software to its full potential. I hope we can clarify this below.

I regret to inform you that KIES 3 does not support syncing your contacts, schedule, memo and multimedia information and you are unable to edit music information or playlist management. Further to this you will not be able to use KIES 3 for contact editing, store applications or podcast.

We have raised this with our engineers to try have something implemented to access this feature, at this time we have not had a response and cannot predict if , or when the feature will be restored.

I apologise this was not made clear to you and thank you for your continued patience and input.

If there is anything else we can help with, please let us know.

Kind regards,

[ Name Removed]
Online Support Team
SAMSUNG Customer Support Centre

Wow!  Just like that, Sync is gone. 

Customers Would Like Answers!

I have sent a further reply to Samsung for clarification on the following:

  1. Why was there no warning that Outlook calendar/tasks/email sync would be removed?
  2. Why was there no warning that Kies 2.6 would not work with the firmware update?
  3. Why is there no documentation anywhere on Samsung's web site to provide a workaround (all tutorials still use Kies 2.6)
  4. Why weren't the network provider companies notified about this?

Further Response From Samsung

 We have contacted the Kies development team regarding the Sync function for outlook. As the Kies 3 Software has only been released alongside the Note 3 and other device updating to 4.3, there have been some areas that are not currently available.

The updates are essential to the running of your device and cannot be removed. As a result you cannot revert your device back to the previous firmware.

At present, Samsung have no way of syncing the information held on outlook with your S4. You may be able to download a third party Outlook application which will sync the information on your outlook with your device. You can locate compatible applications on the Google Play store.

If there is anything else we can help with, please let us know.

Our Customer Support Team love feedback! Share your thoughts on this response by completing the survey at the bottom of this page.

Kind regards,

[ Name Removed ]
Online Support Team
SAMSUNG Customer Support Centre

If you can offer any input to help others encountering this issue, please post it as a comment.  In the meantime I hope that David can persuade Goliath to have a rethink...

Input from the Community

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far.  Every comment is read and valued.  Here is what people are suggesting to raise awareness about this:

  1. Post to Samsung Mobile's Facebook page
  2. Post to Samsung Mobile UK's Twitter feed
  3. Post to Samsung Mobile's Twitter feed

Comments

Posted by Sandeep on 11/13/2013

On the Kies website there is no information that sync function is not available in kies3, infact the tutorial is common, hence we have been misled by Samsung into believing that sync will also be available in Kies 3. I am actually planning a legal action.

Posted by David CodePal on 11/13/2013

We certainly have been misled, especially with no warning that Kies2.6 would not work with the new firmware and offer no choice but to install Kies3.  Its a big joke.

Posted by BartH on 11/14/2013

On a Dutch "complaints" site, I have found following reaction from Samsung Benelux to a similar complaint ( short translation follows - http://www.klachtenkompas.nl/samsung-electronics-benelux/kan-smartfone-niet-meer-synchroniseren-met-outlook ):

"REACTIE SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS BENELUX

Geplaatst op: 13-11-2013, 19 uur 12 min geleden.

Geachte Stenger,
Wij betreuren het dat u op dit moment niet uw agenda en contacten kunt synchroniseren met Outlook via Kies. Inderdaad klopt het dat Kies3 een Beta versie betreft en dat de mogelijkheid om te synchroniseren hier niet bij zit.
Op 15 november zal er een nieuwe update van Kies beschikbaar zijn wat u kunt downloaden en installeren, waarbij de synchronisatie functie weer te gebruiken is.
Tot die tijd vragen wij u om uw geduld hiervoor.
Hopende u hiermee voldoende geïnformeerd te hebben.
Met vriendelijke groeten,
Imran
Samsung WebCare"

What Samsung Benelux announces is a new release of Kies3 AGAIN WITH OUTLOOK SYNC FUNCTIONALITY for November 15, 2013 (tomorrow)!  Uptill now, I haven't found a confirmation elsewhere on the Internet.  Let's hope it's true.

Nevertheless, as a loyal Samsung user I'm still very disappointed by their crappy firmware update and "beta Kies3" communication ...

Posted by David CodePal on 11/14/2013

@BartH
Nice find!  If that is true you win the "hero of the day" medal :o)

Posted by Darren on 11/14/2013

Hi All

I am a new Samsumg S4 user moving from Apple after many frustrating years. I love the device and the Kies 2.6 software, all worked so well. I could not believe it when version 3 did not work and messed up my diary and contacts. How can business users take this device seriously?

Lets hope its gets sorted quickly or I am off to buy a blackberry!

Frustrated bloke in England

Posted by Pete Knight on 11/18/2013

Along with the other posts, I am bitterly disappointed that this major functionality has been overlooked / withdrawn. As a business user it is one of the key features for me. I like the phone and moved from Blackberry as I rated my samsung personal phone. As a small employer, changing phone is not an option at this point in the contract.
Disappointed on so many levels. I truely hope that the post re SAMSUNG Benelux is accurate and that things move quickly.
Fingers crossed

Posted by BartH on 11/18/2013

I suppose I'm not (yet) the "hero of the day"... :-((

Samsung has disappointed us again by not releasing a new version of Kies3 as promised on November 15th.

The complainant on the Dutch site has added a new comment asking some additional info from Samsung.  I will keep you posted!

Posted by David CodePal on 11/18/2013

Hey @BartH

No sorry, you're correct - no hero (yet!).  The web site really highlights how angry people are getting, and I totally understand their frustration - this situation has become ridiculous.

Translated version of Dutch website: ttp://bit.ly/1byxtnM

Posted by afshin on 11/18/2013

It is very disappointing that Samsung launched a new software version obviously without testing. A phone without Callender sync is useless to business users. Why couldn't they wait until they got a working software before forcing us to upgrade?

Posted by Yan on 11/20/2013

Same problem for me and I can't sync outlook contact and calendar. I phone to customer service and they only said it's the problem of Google because Google lock the sync function with outlook in Android 4.3. But I think it's a lie, it's not the real reason.

Posted by BartH on 11/20/2013

New reaction from Samsung Benelux on the Dutch complaint:

"REACTIE SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS BENELUX

Geplaatst op: 19-11-2013, 21 uur 50 min geleden.

Geachte Stenger,
Het euvel blijft bestaan bij de versies die nu operationeel zijn. De nieuwe versie is jammer genoeg helaas nog niet beschikbaar en heeft wat vertraging opgelopen, wat de reden is dat deze nog steeds niet is uitgebracht.
Onze excuses voor het ongemak wat u hiermee ondervind.
Graag nog wat geduld hiervoor.
Bedankt voor uw begrip.
Met vriendelijke groeten,
Imran
Samsung WebCare"

Samsung Benelux recognizes the missing sync functionality is an issue, but the development of an updated version of Kies3 has some delay... (I suppose we're not surprised!).  They keep saying a new version will come and they ask us for some more patience.  Unfortunately, no new release date is mentioned.  How disappointing... again.

(Still have to wait for my medal :-(( )

Posted by David CodePal on 11/20/2013

Hi @BartH

Great job again on keeping us updated.  Maybe no medal just yet, but it is on hold!   Thanks very much - I like to think this is a perfect example of the strength of the community :-)

Posted by Mansoer on 11/21/2013

is there no way we can roll back a version on our S4

Posted by David CodePal on 11/21/2013

Kies won't allow it until your phone has crashed previously.  However, I did see a setting in the S4:  Settings > Accounts > Backup and reset
However, if the reset returns the phone to its factory state, then as soon as you connect Kies2.6 I expect it will request a firmware update which eventually will get you back to this problem.

Posted by TIna on 11/24/2013

Thanks David, I felt like I was taking crazy pills! Does anyone have an alternative solution to syncing my outlook calendar with my SPlanner on my S4? I am a loyal mac user and have come to samsung and PC by work requirements and I'm not enjoying wasting half my day uninstalling/reinstalling, shutting down/restarting etc etc etc...
Please let us know if this new version reveals itself.
Thank you for your time!

Posted by Clive on 11/25/2013

You know...  this just drives me up a wall!  I have battled with this idiotic software on Mac since I bought the phone about 4 months ago.  When I saw the upgrade to Ver 3, I thought that it would take care of all the gremlins experienced in the past.

Not for a second, did I image that the sync functionality would be removed altogether and that I can't revert to the way that I used to battle with it!

What is the point of a 'smart phone' that can't sync.  Well - it could be a new genre, the dumb phone.

If Samsung really want to dominate the market, they need to rethink their strategy - it's kinda development101 if you ask me.

Posted by Edith on 11/25/2013

Like some of the users, I switched from Nokia to an S4 because of the sync function.  Samsung did not provide any warning to the removal of the sync function in Kies 3, and the upgrade to Android 4.3 was automatic with no turning back.  Furthermore, despite informing their call centre the problem and requesting that they should reword their web page, so that S4 users do not download Kies 3 and got into the same trouble, the content has not been changed.

Extremely disappoointed with how slow Samsung has reacted to this issue.  They don't seem to appreciate how important the sync function for calendars, contacts etc is to a business user compared to photos and music.  I hope they won't make the same mistake Nokia has made.  I was told that this would be fixed in the November release.  Hope this will come true.

Posted by David CodePal on 11/26/2013

Hi Edith.
The problem is even more severe, as the firmware update on the S4 did not work with Kies2.6, so there was no choice but to download Kies3 and lose the sync function.  It is a complete shambles.

Posted by Peter Knight on 11/26/2013

Samsung....... are you listening??!!!! Lots of frustrated and angry people out here...... customer service responses are vague and don't engender confidence or convey urgency.....reputation is suffering...... options for change being explored...

Posted by Olsen on 11/26/2013

I recommend that all of you go to Samsung's Mobile Facebook page and start posting away, if you Twitter, then post it there too.  They monitor Social websites more than they do forums.  Here's the link to their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/SamsungMobile?fref=ts

Posted by Olsen on 11/26/2013

I have just finished posting on several different Facebook accounts- they have a support page, a Samsung Mobile page--just search Facebook for Samsung and then begin posting your requests for a solution there.

Posted by David CodePal on 11/27/2013

Great advice @Olsen - thank you.
I've targeted https://twitter.com/SamsungMobileUK and https://twitter.com/SamsungMobile  Please do the same for your own country!

Posted by Edith on 12/4/2013

The good news is that the sync tab is back today in my part of the world (NZ) with the firmware upgrade as well as the Kies 3 upgrade.  So thank you Samsung for keeping your promise.  The bad news is that the option to sync only a portion of the calendar entries or tasks is gone (i.e. one can no longer sync only future appointments, or appointments within a range).  The contacts sync is very sluggish and it took me three goes before it finally worked.  It got stuck at 90% for over 10 minutes twice when there are only 500 or so records.

Posted by BartH on 12/5/2013

The new version of Kies (v.3.2) WITH SYNC is now also available in the Benelux! I experience the same issues as Edith (instability, sluggishness, etc.).  I also have a lot of double appointments in the past, but only a few in the future.  Nevertheless, I can live with these issues.  At least I'm back into sync!

I suggest we give "the hero of the day medal" to David from CodePal! Thanks to forums like his, the community forced Samsung to return the Sync functionality.

Posted by David CodePal on 12/5/2013

First off, the medal is shared!  I only put a place here where the community can voice opinions and frustrations.  There are a few people here who have made it their business to keep reporting back on progress, and that has been wonderful.  Thank you to you all for keeping in touch and I'd like to think you've all made a small difference.

Now... I must be the only one not celebrating today, because the new Sync tab won't even "see" Outlook.  I've uninstalled, reinstalled, set Outlook as default program, but nothing.  Honestly, I could throw Samsung (all of it!) across the room.  Seriously, I cannot believe it.  

I'm glad you've had some joy today (honestly I'm not jealous - okay perhaps a little bit(!!).  For me it seems the journey continues....! :-(

Posted by BartH on 12/5/2013

David, for me it worked after two or three application crashes and multiple unplugs of the USB cable.  The first complete sync also took multiple efforts (first time only contacts, second time calendar, etc.), but now it works OK.

I've read similar issues on other blogs, but you're the first that doesn't "see" Outlook at all. Hope you get it fixed soon. Thanks again!

Posted by David CodePal on 12/5/2013

Hey BartH
I'm using Outlook 2013 x64 which I think might be the problem.  Do you have an x64 operating system?  I have Windows 8.1 x64.
Thanks.

Posted by Syncless on 12/8/2013

It did not sync contacts on the first try, but I'll try a couple more times.  It LOOKS like its syncing, but in fact, its not...

Posted by Alan on 12/8/2013

I am having the same problem - Outlook is not seen by KIES3 - it is the default email and calendar application on PC.  I have a similar problem with Picasa3 and believe it is an issue with 64-bit applications - Google (ie Picasa and Android) seems to have an issue with developing interfaces that work with Windows 64-bit applications!!!

Posted by Ian H on 12/9/2013

I am OK with Outlook Contacts and Calender, on a Galaxy S4,  they seem to work OK, But what has happened to Music and Podcasts. Thought IOS 7 was bad but this is not exactly better, in fact its less user friendly. Grrrr

Posted by BartH on 12/11/2013

Hi David,

Sorry for my late response... I'm using Kies3 (v3.2) with Outlook 2010 (32-bits) on Windows 7 x64 for about a week now and it keeps (more or less) working.  It's certainly less stable and fast than previous "syncing" version, but I can live with it.

Regards,
Bart

Posted by David CodePal on 12/11/2013

Hi Bart
Thanks for posting.  Yeah there's definitely a problem with Outlook x64 then.  Bloody amazing how crap Samsung are being with this one!

Posted by Felis Leo on 12/13/2013

Samsung support teams are stupid.  First, they don't understand the problem even after showing them screen shots.  They then grope in the dark for a few days before replying they are reporting this to their " engineers" in Korea, whose attention seems to be not on the Kies, but only on design of the mobile to get your money to their pockets.  Maybe they are getting Kies written by someone else who have no clue about Microsoft Office.  Even in the old workable syncs, the NOTES from Microsoft Office never got synched.

Posted by Michael E on 12/14/2013

Let me add my echo this chamber.  I have a Galaxy S3 with the 4.3 firmware and Kies 3.2.  It would not synch on my laptop running Windows7 64bit.  The synch tab is present but when I attempt to synch, I get an error message that I must reset Outlook as my default mail program.  I had already done that.  After repeated unsuccessful attempts, I reinstalled Kies 3.2, I ran repair on Outlook 2010 64bit version, I reinstalled the drivers.  None of this made a bit of difference.  

Then I tried the entire operation again with my 32bit desktop system and Kies found Outlook and completed a successful synch.  So the problem appears to be limited to the 64bit version.  

My next search will be for another 3rd party app that can handle synchs to the v4.3 firmware.  

I am spreading the word that the team that built Kies 3.2 is the same team that built the Obamacare website.  I don't know if that's true but it should is consistent with our experience!!!!!

Posted by S3Owner on 12/21/2013

Michael E, I have the same exact problem and status. After working with a supervisor at level 2 support at Samsung for 1.5 hour and trying this and that, it didn't make any difference. The problem is definitely with 64-bit. I had a similar symptoms when I started to use Outlook 2013 64 bit too. It took them 2 months before the fix was available.

I have downloaded the CompanionLink trial for 14 days for now.

What is amazing to me is the fact that even the level 2 support and Kies developers are not really in communication. You'd think the developers would want to hear the problems that owners are reporting right away to save an embarrassment and deal with it. And, you'd think the developers would offer a list of new features or changes to the existing usage...But no!

If Samsung becomes owner-friendly and test their software before pushing it out, they can take over the "i" market much faster. User experience counts for everything nowadays!

Posted by ChrisN on 12/22/2013

The Android update has become available here in Australia. And, of course, as described here, I've experienced the same issues with some small variance: I do get a Sync tab but when I click on any box there, Kies just crashes! I do have 64-bit Windows 7 , by the way.

I was about to contact Samsung support. Luckily, I've read this thread here. That saved me some effort as clearly it would be a complete waste of my time. It is really poor form on Samsung part not to warn the users and then produce such lame responses to their complaints.

Posted by Sam on 12/28/2013

wow, I wish I had found this website and read all these posts before just wasting almost 2 hours of my time with Kies sync frustrations.  I'm a fairly new Galaxy Note 3 user, who is also a loyal mac user for desktop.  I downloaded Kies 3.0 for my mac today (which the level 2 customer support person told me was my only option with my new phone using 4.3 firmware).  There is no tab whatsoever for "sync" at the top of the kies window, just "basic information" and "backup/restore".  Also, in the left column there are only 4 categories shown as being on my phone:  "music, photos, videos, and podcast" ~ NO Contacts whatsoever, nor "story album" which is shown on the website tutorial as supposedly existing there (I don't use story album anyway, but....).  After a ridiculous amount of time they finally told me I have to wait for the 3.2 upgrade to become available, and that they didn't know when that would be, "maybe a month?"..... it's Dec. 28th.... I see you all writing about this for a couple months now!  :-/  
Curious about those of you who have the 3.2 upgrade available... I wonder why it's not available here yet~ I'm in Maine USA.  
I'd be very glad to know of any other Mac users who also use a samsung "smart"phone to learn about other things you discovered regarding syncing issues (any solutions very welcome!)   Thanks~

Posted by Brizzley on 1/1/2014

I am fairly new to Samsung Galaxy SIII and hugely disappointed with support from Samsung.
I (very foolishly) installed the recent firmware upgrade, then when I plugged my phone in to sync my calendar, discovered that I needed to install Kies 3 and once I had done that sync doesn't work.
I have v3.2 and it does have a sync tab when I plug my phone in but as soon as I select calendar option it says "Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfil the messaging request" and then says "Cannot retrieve information for Outlook folder"
I am running Windows 7 64-bit with 32-bit Outlook 2010 with a standard installation to manage my calendar, task and contacts but don't use it for emails.
I have contacted Samsung support and got nowhere and written to my network provide with whom I have the contract suggesting that critical functionality no longer operates and await their response.,
Any hints, tips or suggestions gratefully received?

Posted by Alex in Aus on 1/22/2014

Same same (except that I am running 32 bit software)...
A few days ago I bought a Samsung Note II. Played with it to familiarise myself with it;  modified settings etc. Synced my OLD HTC to get Outlook 2003 up-to-date (yes 2003. NB Windows XP Professional SP3 32 bit - still works beautifully!). Downloaded Kies version ?? and installed it. In this EARLIER version of Kies I was able to Sync CONTACTS in both directions but NOT others eg calendar. Started to explore Kies a bit more and came accross firmware info. It showed phone as not up-to-date so I updated. Same as everyone else, I was then required to update Kies to Kies3. I did this and similar problems. I have the check boxes for: "All items", "Contacts with Outlook", "Calendar with Outlook", and "Task with Outlook" but as soon I a tick any of them Kies CRASHES!! SO frustrating

Posted by Tim on 1/22/2014

So I've noticed that this sync-ing issue has been going on since early november!! Surely Samsung could have  worked out a solution by now? According to kies 3 on my laptop it is running the latest version, but still has no improvement from what you guys have explained. Kies 2 was not a bad program, unstable at times but on a whole it's functional, couldn't they have added a patch or something to allow access to the android 4.3 firmware? I really don't get what Samsung is trying to do with this c##p. Any news on a decent update or program being released??

Posted by Terry Martin on 1/31/2014

THis was the most used part of my phone as my outlook calender is updated for meeting etc by my staff and now i cant sync??? the note 2 i have is now usless to me i will need to go to apple???
are the programers dumb ?

Posted by John on 2/2/2014

And I thought it was just me.
I don't understand how Samsung could oblige end-users to upgrade to Kies 3 and then leave out key functions; for me synchronising and editing contacts.
For the huge amount of money they have made out of the Galaxy range of phones you would have thought that they could have directed some of those profits into their software department !

Posted by Yohai on 2/4/2014

There is new Kies version which support outlook synchronization.
you can upgrade the current one.

Posted by Ciju on 2/9/2014

In which version sync is enabled? i have 3.2.14013_45 and its not enabled in mine. It says "it is the latest version" when i check for updates

Posted by Peter C on 3/21/2014

I still have this problem it will not sync my agenda in outlook with kies3, I have done everything new firmware in mobilestore, 2x tel cal from samsung support, great help btw, but it still does not work still get the unknown error.. and due to all hassle lost my whole task listing...for 6 months ahead..
I hae reduced the agenda to only consist of 2014 items but still does not work out...
really bad this...

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